SAN DIEGO, CA (Associated Press) - Deputies have new information on one of the most bizarre and twisted crimes in recent history. The suspect in a series of sexual assaults that terrorized San Diego this spring has been linked to the crimes through DNA testing and surveillance video authorities announced on Friday.
The twist is that Bill Berdanier, 35, is not accused of assaulting another person but Su Lin a panda at the San Diego Zoo. Police have released images from parking lot surveillance video showing Mr. Berdanier entering the zoo before one of the alleged incidents.
Visitors at the zoo reported a man dressed in a panda costume outside the public viewing area that houses the giant pandas was behaving oddly and repeatedly telling others in the crowd, "Tuesday is bath day with Jeter." The man then abruptly entered the exhibit to the dismay of the crowd and began to sodomize Su Lin. Zoo officials are concerned for the long-term health of Su Lin who was born in captivity on August of 2005.
Court records indicate Mr.Berdanier was arrested last October in Columbus, Ohio after he allegedly sodomized a pony while at a party attended by members of the Brotherhood of the Little Brown Ring. "Semen obtained from the pony was a match to Mr. Berdanier." said Ohio District Attorney, Mike Roch.
Sources familiar with the investigation indicated that Mr. Berdanier was know as Ms. Beth Nygard until a sex change in the fall of 1985. The doctor who performed the operation lost his medical license after being convicted of malpractice for using skin from the buttocks of baboons to create the penis and scrotum of his female sex change patients.
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